Mission and History


The Economic Research Council, Britain’s oldest economics-based think tank, is dedicated to extending the reach of economic education, debate and leadership. In support of this, the ERC raises the profile of economic conversations; we host events to cultivate wider accessibility, inclusion and civic participation.

As Britain’s oldest economics-focussed think tank, the Economic Research Council has been dedicated to the provision of economic education, debate and leadership for over 70 years. At the time of its formation in the early 1930s, the ERC advocated the study of economics as a subject in its own right, and our commitment to education has endured since.

The ERC’s belief in wider economic literacy is supported through a range of activities; from outreach with schools and universities, provision of work experience and study as well as the free dissemination of both research and policy studies.

The ERC continues to raise the profile of economic conversations through hosting high-profile economists, authors, politicians and journalists at subsidised public events in order to cultivate wider accessibility, understanding, inclusion and civic participation.

The ERC seeks to build a nation of informed citizens who make it their business to comprehend and scrutinise the practical aspects of economic and budgetary decisions and foster an understanding of the global financial landscape.


Our History

The Economic Research Council was founded in 1943 as the Joint Council for Economic and Monetary Research. Its origins go back at least a decade earlier to the 1930s, when a number of individuals, concerned at the poverty around them in the midst of plenty, started questioning the use in Britain of a monetary system that had failed the nation in the past and was liable to go on perpetuating the sequence of boom, slump, boom of the 1920s. If orthodox economics were to blame then its basic tenets should be challenged.